Former Editor of Tehelka magazine Tarun Tejpal seeking in-camera hearing in the plea filed by Goa against his acquittal in a sexual assault case will be transferred to another court, as Justice L Nageswara Rao recused himself from the case, citing his presence as Advocate in the case in 2015.
“Seems like a manual for Rape Victims”, “judge tried the woman”, “Evidence of how little judiciary has learnt” are few of the judging remarks upon Goa judge Kshama Joshi for being just “dutiful” in her verdict in the Tarun Tejpal sexual assault case.
On 21 May, in State vs Tarun Tejpal, Goa additional sessions court judge Kshama M. Joshi upheld only one charge, that of Tarun Tejpal being in a position of control and dominance in relation to his rape accuser when he was editor-in-chief of Tehelka magazine.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta submitted that the judgement was replete with examples of attempts of the trial court to define the conduct of the victim, her reaction to the assault and her past sexual conduct.
Cara Tejpal, Tarun’s young daughter has stood by her father during the entire trial and now holds his hand even tighter as critics attack the outcome of that trial. I reproduce, in full, a letter she wrote last week to Siddharth Varadarajan, along with the latter’s response, to acquaint the reader with the judgment and what the judge actually wrote.
The case is on 2013, when a female colleague alleged that she was sexually assaulted by Tejpal in an elevator of a five-star Goa hotel. Goa police had registered an FIR for various offences including rape. His arrest was in November 2013 and release on bail in July 2014.